Oct 14, 2015

Review--Not a Drop to Drink by Mind McGinnis

Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story where water is worth more than gold. New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed." With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl's journey in a frontierlike world not so different from our own.

Teenage Lynn has been taught to defend her pond against every threat: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and most important, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty—or doesn't leave at all. Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. But when strangers appear, the mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won't stop until they get it. . . .

For more in this gritty world, join Lynn on an epic journey to find home in the companion novel, In a Handful of Dust.

I struggle to pull myself out of the emotional wreck Mindy McGinnis’s Not a Drop to Drink has left me in. That’s not to say that it was bad of course, just that it really pulls at ALL sorts of emotions!

Cholera has struck the world, water is scarce and basically living is a struggle itself. Lynn has lived with her mother in the basement of their Ohio home, protecting their pond with everything they have. They are able to purify the water from the pond in order to survive, then there’s the hunting and gathering part of life to feed them. Then one day, tragedy strikes and Lynn’s mother is killed. Now Lynn is on her own in a world that’s quite terrifying.

Lynn has basically lived all her life in her home. Her only interactions came from her mother. So when some new people walk into her life, she struggles to connect to them. First there’s Stebbs, a man she already sort of knows from him stopping by when she was a child. He and her mother were cordial with one another, and it’s through him that she meets Eli, a pregnant woman named Neva, and her young daughter, Lucy. At the mother’s request and Stebb’s prodding, she takes Lucy in while Eli cares for his sister-in-law.

This is the start of Lynn learning to grow and feel. She was a very cold sort of girl. But you can’t blame her really as she had no one to teach her better. Her mother taught her to protect herself and what’s theirs. And what with the world falling apart, it’s no wonder Lynn struggled with communicating. I sometimes still struggle with it! LOL.

For awhile, it was hard to see the conflict in this story. Surely, Mindy would give us something other than the struggle for survival. And that she does! Soon, Lynn and her new friends learn of a group of men prowling the towns and roads taking whatever and whoever they want. Survival truly brings out the monsters in all humans.

What was decidedly delightful was watching Lynn fall in love for the first time. And not even realizing what that love was. Naturally, there’s a connection going on with her and Eli. It was definitely the sweet first romance kind of love. And best yet, it doesn’t play a pivotal role in the story. It’s just there in the background.

I found Not a Drop to Drink to be quite the moving read. There’s not all happiness and fluffy clouds kind of things going on. It’s a very dark read. Sinister almost. But yet, there were some upsides to it. Mainly, Lynn. Watching Lynn grow from the sheltered and non-trusting sort of teen into a more light-hearted one was quite remarkable! Definitely looking forward to the next book in the duology!

If you’re looking for a different kind of dystopian read, than Not a Drop to Drink will definitely fit the bill. It definitely has a different kind of air to it to make it exciting, thrilling and one of the most stunning reads I’ve read this year!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars



  1. I enjoyed this one too. Haven't read the second one yet. I'll have to do that soon!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. I must admit this wasn't my favourite book because it simply wasn't what I was looking for at the time. Your enthusiasm is infectious though so maybe I should give it another go...

    Enchanted by YA: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/review-warriors-reverians-3-by-sarah.html

  3. This has been on my radar but I haven't read it yet, your review has made me keen to read it now!

  4. Ooh, I'm now convinced I need this book! Post-apocalyptic books aren't really my preferred read but I love how there seems to be a focus on the main character's development. Also, I really want to meet Eli :) I'll definitely leave this for a day when I'm in the mood for an emotional read. Great review, Jessica!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  5. I've had this on my shelf since it came out and have been too afraid to start it! I need to be emotionally stable to be able to handle all the feels I think haha

  6. I've been wanting to read this for a while now! I have to make a point of checking if it's at the library. Great review!


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